If you’ve been even casually aware of Grand Seiko’s last year, you will be familiar with this watch. For the better part of a decade, Grand Seiko spoiled us with the most spectacular dials of anything shy of an order of magnitude higher in price. Their inspirations were natural, close to their culture, and executed beautifully. However, for reasons unknown to all of us, they obscured those dials with a power reserve indicators and date windows. This watch was the first to pair a reasonable price point, un-compromising dial finish, and no reserve to clutter it. Everything else is traditional Grand Seiko, which is to say bordering on perfection (minus the bracelet).
This watch was among the first to utilize the new series nine case and 9SA5 hi-beat caliber with its in-house dual-impulse escapement. It might not be from the micro artist studio, but it is a masterpiece nonetheless. This is a watch which effortlessly embarrasses its Swiss counterparts that cost more than twice as much. Its 40mm steel case is sporting and utilizes the Zaratsu finishing beautifully. It has an increased lug curve compared to previous generations to help minimize its still somewhat chunky rise. The movement is as technically impressive as it is robust, with an 80 hour reserve. The main feature though, unquestionably, is the white birch dial. Its texture is complex, deep, textured, and exquisite. We have seen nothing like it before.
I’ve chosen to feature this example because for two reasons. First, I’ve been wanting to share one. I selfishly bend this feed to my tastes. Secondly, it’s one of the most reasonable to hit the secondhand market. There’s a lot to be said for not trying to extract a ridiculous premium for being allocated an in-demand watch. This seller gets it. The watch shows little wear anywhere and comes with a full set from a private collector.
Find this White Birch here on r/watchexchange for 8600 USD.